One Year After Prince's Death, We're Remembering Him Through Dance
It feels like just yesterday that we were shocked with the news that pop icon Prince had passed away. Now it's been a year since his untimely death, and we miss his dance-able music and intoxicating stage presence more than ever.
Though Prince was known for his genre-bending music, he was also a huge supporter of the dance community—and a captivating dancer himself. So it feels right to remember him by a few of his contributions to the dance world:
He was a Misty Copeland fan before she was a household name.
Before the promotion to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and the high-profile advertising campaigns, Prince saw something in Misty Copeland. He took her on tour with him off-and-on for almost four years, and according to Twitter, advocated for her promotion at ABT and told the company he was composing an opera that would star Copeland. So don't mind us, we'll just be dreaming about what that ballet would have looked like for the rest of our lives.
He composed our favorite '90s pop ballet, "Billboards."
When the Joffrey Ballet premiered Billboards in 1993, it was like nothing the ballet world had ever seen. (Prince was inspired to collaborate on a ballet after seeing the Joffrey perform a few years earlier.) Danced entirely to his songs, the work challenged ballet's conventions by embracing popular music and featuring explicit sexuality.
And he inspired this stunning Syncopated Ladies tribute.
Our favorite tappin' girl-power group created this video to Prince's "When Doves Cry" a few weeks after his death. The Ladies' signature rhythms complement one of Prince's darkest songs perfectly.
Have you ever seen a performance and thought, "Wow, this was so good. Dance Magazine should really be writing about this!"? You're in luck.
We're collecting nominations for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we need your help! We'll compile our favorite nominations, and then you'll vote on what should make it into our December issue. But for now, we want to hear about the most memorable dance you've seen so far in 2017.
Throughout the summer, we've been noticing beachside views and scenic waterfalls sprinkled in with all of the usual rehearsal and performance posts we see from ballet's biggest stars. But even while enjoying some sun and relaxation, dancers like Sara Mearns and Michaela DePrince prove that they never really take a break from ballet. Ahead, check out some of the cutest vacay pictures and videos our favorite dancers have been sharing this summer. Not only will they give you some future vacation inspo, they'll also have you itching to get back in the studio.
This fall, the University of Utah's School of Dance welcomes the first class of candidates to its newly reinstated Master of Fine Arts in Ballet program, currently the only ballet-specific MFA in the country. Geared toward those with professional ballet experience, it requires courses in pedagogy, choreography and scholarly inquiry. Melonie Murray, the director of graduate studies, says, "We want to support students in understanding ballet in a deeper way."
The 2017–18 Broadway season is just getting underway! But before we look ahead to new productions, let's recall what came before. Here are a few of the sparkliest shows that opened on the Great White Way in previous Augusts.
42nd Street (1980)
The cast of the 2001 revival of 42nd Street performing at the Tony Awards
If you need an example of traditional Broadway-style tap, this couldn't be any closer. The original production of 42nd Street ran for over eight years. That's a lot of time steps.
When I saw Kele Roberson dancing at New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's college scholarship audition, I only had to watch a deep plié before writing down a 10 out of 10 on his score sheet and scribbling a giant star next to his name. Before he even had a chance to show off his incredible lines, I was mesmerized by his nuanced grace in even the simplest of movements.
He walked away from that audition with NYCDA Foundation's Dance Magazine College Scholarship worth $25,000 to the college of his choice, which happened to be Juilliard, where he was planning to attend this fall.
But shortly after winning, it turns out, his plans changed. I caught up with him earlier today to find out what happened.
Yep, you read that right.
Alpaca dance classes are a thing, thanks to 313 Farms in Manitoba, Canada. Students can take classes like "Barn Barre," "Mommy, The Alpacas, & Me" and "Poppin' Pacas" while the animals roam—and you're welcome to stop and pet them mid-class.
"Having worked in a dance studio, I had quite a few students visit the alpacas and they loved being around them," says owner Ann Patman. "Most studios have no windows and even though the class might be great, you don't get any fresh air or see what's going on outside."
Nominations for our Readers' Choice Awards are underway, and you've been sending in tons of exciting ones.
As a reminder, we're compiling nominations in seven categories:
- Best Viral Video
- Most Moving Performance
- Biggest Choreographic Breakthrough
- Coolest Collaboration
- Best Dance Documentary
- Most Inventive New Work
- Funniest Performance
We'll choose our favorites, then ask you to vote on what will make it into our December issue.
Here are some of our favs so far: